AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

STAR PREVIEW Sat: Royal Ascot 2022 | Day Five

Royal Ascot 2022, Day 5
Ascot, Berkshire

Live on ITV1 HD from 13:30-18:00, also ITV Hub
Live on Sky Sports Racing HD from 1.30pm (Raceday Preview 11am)

First Race: 2.30pm
Last Race: 6.10pm

I’d like to begin this final preview with a thanks to everyone for reading, and Joe Citrone and David Stewart for their hard work and assistance through the week. Yesterday was a fine day’s racing – if not for the firm, as Simon Nott’s blog will tell you – and we managed to turn a profit on the preview for good measure.

Don’t miss out on our free to enter tipping competition – with a £100 free bet for the winner:

ROYAL ASCOT Tipping Challenge Saturday

And of course, the Zoom Room:

ZOOM ROOM: Royal Ascot 2022 (Saturday)

Draw Watch: Low draws dominated the Albany (first 3 home were 4, 7 and 1) but High draws took home the first four in the Sandringham (first four home 21, 17, 24 and 25) when the standside saw all the late action.

The Commonwealth Cup was a far side affair, but class won the day as Perfect Power was too good – albeit with the perceived advantage of stall 1. The closing Palace of Holyroodhouse Handicap Stakes was won down the middle, but even then, Latin Lover (11) was followed home by horses drawn 21, 26, and 28.

2.30 – Chesham Stakes (Listed Race) (Class 1) (2yo) (7f)

A race with a strong recent record of providing top class horses and there’s plenty of promise in this year’s field, as one would expect. Alfred Munnings was exceptional on debut at Leopardstown and is an obvious candidate for a Balldoyle team that has a great record in this race (along with two other juvenile winners this week.

However, he’s short at even money and he’s not the only horse of promise in this race. There are plenty who caught the eye on debut, including Faisal Road and Dark Thirty. Both of them won by a small margin on debut, but they were notably green when delivering their challenges and promise to improve for the experience here.

Faisal Road in particular could have done with more cover on that occasion – something which he’ll have a great chance of getting here – and the form of that race was franked by runner up Changing Colours and the third Finn’s Charm winning next time out, the latter by nearly nine lengths. A big step forward from him would be no surprise here.

Dark Thirty just managed to get the better of subsequent next time out winner Mysterious Night at Newbury (The Foxes, who reopposed, finished fourth) and the excellent attitude he showed will stand him in good stead here.

Amo Racing have not had a winner but they’ve got an excellent crop of juveniles, and Crypto Force was an interesting acquisition for them after an impressive debut win at the Curragh. Much attention was paid to the run of Auguste Rodin in second there, but he was well on top at the line and looks a decent horse in his own right.

One World fell in at Haydock when wining by inches and could step forward from that run here, where the booking of Colin Keane is most eyecatching.

Alzahir pulled a lot on debut and ought to be a happier horse with a bigger field and presumably a better pace to follow on his second start. Lakota Sioux, and Pearling Path and

3.05 – Jersey Stakes (Group 3) (Class 1) (3yo) (7f)

Super competitive as always with a number of unexposed horses taking prominent positions in the market. Noble Truth has had plenty of runs but he sets a decent standard to aim at and will be sure to take plenty of beating. However, he makes the market at 4/1 and there’s not much between several of the leading contenders here.

A chance is taken on Dubawi Legnd coming back to his best form, namely a third in the Acomb Stakes last year behind Royal Patronage and Imperial Fighter (Noble Truth behind) and a Dewhurst second behind Native Trail. If we see that horse, rather than the horse who was nearly last at the Breeders’ Cup and last in the Guineas, then he’s never a 10/1 shot.

Speaking of Guineas form, Star Girls Aalmal’s fourth in the Irish 1,000 Guineas reads extremely well. Second Tuesday has since won The Oaks, Concert Hall was fourth at Epsom, and sixth Purplepay has won a Group 2 in France since. Star Girls Aalmal’s run there petered out a little in the final furlong, so seven furlongs here could suit her even better, and if she handles fast ground then she’ll be very competitive.

Rocchigiani’s Germany 2,000 Guineas second reads extremely well on a line through Maljoom, so unlucky here on Tuesday, and if he can repeat that performance (had disappointed twice before then) then he’s another big player.

Of the bigger prices, Hello You stands out. She beat none other than Cachet to take the Rockfel last September, was a creditable fourth at the Breeders’ Cup (Juvenile Fillies), and then finished third in the Nell Gwyn under a penalty once again. Her Guineas effort can be forgiven and she’s of interest at the prices.

Of the unexposed horses, Monaddah can confirm form with Audience from their Kempton meeting but Samburu, who bat a next time out Listed winner at York makes more appeal. Alfalia won on his handicap return (over course and distance) like a group horse and is another contender.

3.40 – Hardwicke Stakes (Group 2) (Class 1) (4yo+) (1m4f)

All eyes will be on Hurricane Lane, last year’s Derby, Grand Prix de Paris and St Leger winner who was a close third in the Arc. He’s the standout in the race, but he’s making his seasonal reappearance on ground faster than he’s faced before, and he can be avoided.

Aidan O’Brien’s week has turned around in the last two days and last year’s second Broome – who was second in the Breeders’ Cup Turf last year – could be best placed to strike here with a reappearance run in the Tattersalls Gold Cup under his belt, back up to 12 furlongs.

He would look an obvious second choice, but there are some interesting options in this field. Layfayette made it a hat-trick with an impressive win in the Mooresbridge Stakes at the Curragh and he should be fine back at this distance (winner over 12f) whilst Solid Stone hacked up in the Huxley Stakes at Chester and hasn’t stopped improving yet.

Mostahdaf was a smooth winner of the Gordon Richards Stakes at Sandown before bumping into Prince of Wales’s second Bay Bridge, and if he improves over this trip then he can get in the shake-up too. A no bet race – but one not to miss.

4.20 – Platinum Jubilee Stakes (Group 1) (British Champions Series) (Class 1) (4yo+) (6f)

A 27 runner Platinum Jubilee Stakes, with runners from Australia, America, France, Japan, and the UK. What more could anyone want?

All eyes are on Home Affairs, who bids to give Chris Waller a Group 1 sprint double after Nature Strip’s demolition in the King’s Stand on Tuesday. Home Affairs is the best three year old sprinter in Australia – and one of the world’s best on ratings after his impressive win in the Coolmore Stud Stakes last October and his short head defeat of Nature Strip in the Lightning Stakes this February.

He comes here after what many would consider to be a disappointing effort in the Lightning Stakes, when he blazed a trail under a welter burden for a three year old on what turned out to be the wrong side of the track. He’s better than that effort – and we can expect James McDonald to be more conservative in this context – but 15/8 against 27 rivals on Ascot’s straight course does not appeal, especially given the danger of Home Affairs being stuck in traffic, or on the wrong side of the course.

Star pay five places – and more with each/way extra betting – so it’s worth having a bash at finding one to hit the frame if Home Affairs is too good and his compatriot Artorius may be the one.

He was a staying on sixth at Flemington in the Newmarket handicap when again stuck on the wrong side – and he’d also come with a late run in the Coolmore Stud Stakes from the rear of the field to take third. It’s no surprise that he finished strongly on those occasions – he’s a versatile performer who has finished third in the Caulfield Guineas (1m) and fourth in the Golden Rose (7f), again finishing strongly on both occasions.

Given how he’s finished there, Ascot’s stiff six furlongs should be absolutely ideal for him, a strong pace looks very likely, and the booking of Jamie Spencer could be a master-stroke. At 9/1, he is the each/way selection.

Campanelle and Dragon Symbol were separated by the stewards in the Commonwealth Cup last year, but whilst Campanelle has warmed up for this race in style with a smooth win at Keenland, Dragon Symbol has regressed after what was a brilliant campaign until an understandable blowout in the British Champions Sprint. Wesley Ward’s filly has to be in the conversation here, even after a frustrating race.

Creative Force took the British Champions Sprint last season after a great campaign and is better than he was able to show last time, but one wonders if he’s suited by ground this fast. A Cheveley Park Stud filly managed to land a feature prize at Royal Ascot with Inspiral yesterday and Sacred is an interesting contender, even after 08 days off. She has form that tied in closely with Campanelle and as a stayer of seven furlongs, she should be finishing strongly here.

Highfield Princess was a deeply impressive winner of the Duke of York Stakes, when she took front rank, travelled best and was a dominant winner in the end. She can put up a bold show here although repeating such a win on this track will be harder. Minzaal, third in last season’s Champions Sprint, filled the same position there and should be much better suited by a return to Ascot, making him one of many interesting contenders.

A Case Of You was below par in the Greenland’s Stakes when no match for the first two, but he’d gotten the better of Happy Romance in the Al Quoz Sprint beforehand and is a dual Group 1 winner. That said, Happy Romance may be the better of the pair over this course and distance. Richard Hannon’s four-year-old has improved hugely over the last year and is another closer who could be in the shake up here. Sean Levey also has the chance to take his pick of the sides from 12.

Alcohol Free won last year’s Coronation and Sussex Stakes, but she was a Chevley Park Stakes winner as a juvenile and is an interesting contender back sprinting here, especially as she’s proven over the course and will have pace to follow. Does she retain the spark of her three year old season, however? It remains to be seen.

King’s Lynn was unlucky twice at last year’s Royal Meeting and took the Temple Stakes in good style this season, but he didn’t shape as well in the King’s Stand and would need to find a lot of improvement to contend here.

There are many contenders amongst the rest, an don’t be a afraid of a big price flyer in what ought to be a fast, furious, and fascinating race.

5.00 – Wokingham Stakes (Heritage Handicap) (Class 2) (3yo+ 0-110) (6f)

An incredibly difficult handicap to solve each year and one where you could make a good case for every runner. Expect a hot pace, as usual for 6-furlong sprints at Ascot. Recent winners Rohaaan (carried 9-8, won off 112), Cape Bryon (carried 9-9, won off 107), Bacchus (carried 9-6, won off 105), and Dandy Boy (carried 9-8, won off 106) have defied lofty weights.

A chance is taken on last year’s winner Rohaan returning to his best. He pulled off a frankly unbelievable effort to pip Fresh in this race last year off 112 and whilst he hasn’t made up unto a Group horse since – bar an excellent effort in the Flying Five at the Curragh – a fair few factors have been against him however – and he’s now 3lb lower this time around. If the Wokingham sparks him back to life, then he’s a fair price.

Gulliver has been beaten under two lengths in the last two renewals of this and he caught the eye at York when third on his seasonal debut in what looked to be a very smart handicap. Ascot evidently suits even better on that evidence, and he could be finishing very strongly.

French raider Prince Lancelot is also of interest. Fast ground might be a question mark of sorts but otherwise he’s got lots to recommend him based on the evidence of his two French wins so far. He had a decent yardstick in second at Chantilly.

Last year’s second Fresh, impressive Newmarket winner Blackrod, Irish raider Quarantine Dreams, and the highly progressive Silver Samurai all have major claims.

5.35 – Golden Gates Stakes (Handicap) (Class 2) (3yo 0-105) (1m2f)

Loads of lightly raced types who should improve from this – so don’t rule any out – but Honiton’s form this season has been quite impressive and he’s got a fine chance based on his third at Newcastle behind Queen’s Vase winner Elda Eldarov. Previously he’d found King George V Handicap winner Secret State too good at Chester when he finished clear of the third, and on his debut this season he’s finished behind My Prospero (St James’s Palace Stakes third) and Thesis (Britannia Stakes winner). He warmed up for this with a nine length win at Sandown last Saturday and if he runs to form then he’s got a major shout off 94.

Godolphin have four runners in this race – Falling Shadow, Blue Trail, Aludos Huxley and Honiton – and all are respected here whilst Gorge Boughey’s booking of James McDonald for Missed The Cut could be a masterstroke.

6.10 – Queen Alexandra Stakes (Class 2) (4yo+) (2m5½f)

It seems highly unlikely that Trueshan will run on ground this fast, having missed the Gold Cup for ground related reasons. Wordsworth looks a natural contender for Ballydoyle but he’s rated just 1lb higher than Falcon Eight, who has a fine chance on his Chester Cup fifth.

He’d won the race last year but found a few horses too well handicapped this time, but there was no shame in his effort and the form has worked out brilliantly, with runner up Coltrane taking the Ascot Stakes, winner Cleveland finishing second in the Copper Horse Handicap, and fourth Arcadian Sunrise finishing third in the Ascot Stakes. Tom Marquand looks to be a fine booking to boot, his stamina can’t be called into question, and a bold bid can be expected.

Of the others, last year’s winner Stratum is of interest back here, and appears overlooked at a double figure price, Nate The Great is a better horse now than when fourth in this two years ago, and Calling The Wind is a fair each/way shout.

An interesting outsider is Timor, who is stepping up markedly in trip for Andre Fabre and James McDonald, who may well have been booked by owners with links to Australia. He was third in the Prix Niel last season and appears to have plenty of back class; he could be an interesting player.



BACK Faisal Road 1 pt each/way in Chesham Stakes (2.30 Royal Ascot) at 11/1

BACK Dubawi Legend 1 pt win in Jersey Stakes (3.05 Royal Ascot) at 9/1

BACK Artorius 1.5 pt each/way in Platinum Jubilee Stakes (4.20 Royal Ascot) at 9/1

BACK Rohaan 1 pt win in Wokingham Stakes (5.00 Royal Ascot) at 11/1

BACK Gulliver 1 pt win in Wokingham Stakes (5.00 Royal Ascot) at 22/1

BACK Honiton 2 pts win Golden Gates Stakes (5.35 Royal Ascot) at 9/2

BACK Falcon Eight 1 pt win in Queen Alexandra Stakes at 9/2

PROFIT/LOSS (JUNE 2022): LOSS -45.48 points
(Excluding ante-post recommendations CLICK HERE)